Digimon World Championship
Rather than take the RPG-like approach of the previous outings on the DS, Digimon World Championship attempts to scrape something entirely newish together. Unfortunately, what ended up happening with this title was the creation of a game that has components that feel familiar, yet not. This release is quite adept at sucking the fun out of the very concept of video games and taking most expected facets of controls out of your hands.
What you're going to be doing in this game is hunting down some digimon, training them, and tossing them into a pit to fight other ones. Sure that more or less sounds like what you'd expect from a Digimon title, but what you get here is something that's just plain different from other entries for the franchise. There's really no story, no characters, and little personality. In the end it's like a glorified Tamagotchi, only with more frustration.
Once you have a digimon in your possession you really have no place to put him other than in a cage, so lock that thing up! Like other Digimon titles, there is a myriad of ways that you can use the cage to train your critter. By placing it into other cages, various stats will be affected and you can eventually turn him into something more powerful, or weaker as the case may be. This set up has been fine for other incarnations of Digimon, but the problem here is that you're given no direction whatsoever. In other words if you have some idea in mind of what you want your digimon to turn into, you have to wing it in order to get results. This get annoying considering logical courses of training don't net expected results based on whatever formula has been pieced together for this title.
To make matters worse, if you make the wrong decisions your beastie will turn back into an egg and you'll have to start all over again! Imagine wasting time trying to power the guy up only to have him crap out just before a battle. Now that's what I call fun. The training aspect of the game works about as well, and is as fun as, attempting to herd a bunch of cats. No matter how hard you try to get the digimon to grow like you want it to, you'll always feel like you're doing something wrong, and it's going to do what it wants in the end anyways.
On top of all the flaws with the training system and complete lack of interaction between you and the creature, you have to constantly feed it and clean up its crap. Then you need to keep it healthy enough for battle when the schedule says its time for an event. You'll really feel like you're just being given busy work and that you're getting absolutely nowhere. Not only that, but even once you do get into battle you do nothing but watch the fight take place with no interaction on your part. I suppose very young ones who just want to look at flashy colors and press buttons may find something appealing here, but anyone looking for something resembling a game shouldn't bother. World Championship is a mess, it's devoid of fun, and it's nowhere near as good as other Digimon titles.
The feeling that this game is a sloppy rush job continues as the graphics disappoint in almost every way. Character models are tiny to the point that details are virtually indistinguishable, animation is limited, and a heavy dose of pixels don't help matters. The menus are also not very user friendly though the text is easy enough to read. By comparison I'd say that Digimon: World Championship looks like a first generation DS game or possible even a late run GBA title. To top it all off there is even lots of slowdown at random points for essentially no reason. Basically the only thing that this game does exceptionally well is provide bright colors.
The sound direction for this game is very minimal as well, but at least it's better presented than the graphics are. Some fun music is included in this title and some of the sound effects for battle are pretty good. Aside from that there really is nothing outstanding about this category either. The game could be played just as well with the sound turned off, which is kind of a sad statement.
If you haven't figured it out already, I did not have a good time with this game. In fact, part of me doesn't even want to call it a game. It's basically a digital pet simulator with some random other elements tossed in, but even they don't work that well. Digimon fans shouldn't bother with this one, as it may embitter you on the game franchise and make you long for older titles. You'd best forget about World Championship and find something else to eat up your time.